The Colorado Avalanche survived an onslaught of shots from the Carolina Hurricanes but were able to overcome everything and escape with a 5-3 victory.

Sven Andrighetto (D) – Holy cow.  It’s very difficult to on the ice for 28 shot attempts against, and Andrighetto did it in only 10 5 on 5 minutes.  To boot, he was only on the ice for 5 shots on the Canes net.  It was a tough night for that line all around, and he finished with a -2.

Mark Barberio (C+) – It certainly wasn’t a perfect game for him, but he made a nice play on the opening goal for the Avs and seemed to get more ice time as the game went on, playing with EJ a lot in the third.

Tyson Barrie (D) – Barrie got crushed all night long on the ice, controlling only 22% of the shot attempts when he was out there, but he managed to be out for a few goals for by the Avs and picked up another assist on the power play.

Blake Comeau (B) – Comeau had another strong game, picking up a goal driving the net in the second period, and that line was certainly the most consistent on the team.  He was a little sloppy with the puck in the defensive zone, but he certainly wasn’t alone in that.

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Matt Duchene (F) – He got a little too fancy in the neutral zone prior to the Canes second goal and turned it over, and just, in general, had a rough night.

A.J. Greer (B-) – Greer was hard on the forecheck all night long, and it got him a nice assist in the opening period.  He made some nice defensive plays on the backcheck in the second period.

Rocco Grimaldi (F) – Grimaldi’s issue has always been in the defensive zone, and it was evident early in the game.  He got put in a tough spot on the first goal but was very much lost on the second goal.  He’ll continue to get chances with skilled guys, though.

Erik Johnson (C+) – I thought EJ was definitely the best defenseman on the team.  He was moving his feet all night, and a great defensive play in the second period led to him drawing a penalty.  He got beat up in the third a beat, but so did everyone.

Alexander Kerfoot (C) – His pass-first mentality was on display again in the second.  One time, it led to a great chance for Mironov on a 2 on 1.  Another time, it led to a turnover when he tried to get too fancy.  Hopefully, he will learn.

Gabriel Landeskog (C+) – That line got beat up in the first period, but somehow he finished with an absurd 23 minutes of ice time.  His goal was exactly the type of goal you want to see from him driving to the net.

Anton Lindholm (C-) – His ice time decreased as the game went on, and seemed to lose his spot on the top pairing in the third.  He made some nice plays overall but got caught a good amount too, including Skinner getting behind him for a break in the second.  He also made the clear right up the middle to E. Lindholm on the Canes second goal.

Nathan MacKinnon (C+) – Mack wasn’t good in the first, but it was nice to see him use his speed to create a goal against a very good defenseman in Slavin.  The pass to Rantanen for the final goal was sublime too.

Andrei Mironov (F) – It’s obvious right now that Mironov is in over his head at this level.  Will it get better?  Who knows, but the Avs have two good young players sitting right now to give him a look, so they can’t just keep him in there when he’s not performing.

Patrik Nemeth (C+) – It was a night of wild up and downs for him.  He was horrendous early, putting Grimaldi in a terrible spot on the first goal, but then came back with a random bomb to give the Avs the lead.  He seemed to settle down a bit as the game went on, but his advanced stats since the win in New Jersey are not pretty.

Matt Nieto (B) – He’s a part of the most consistent line on the team right now, and using his speed well to create opportunities.  The injuries have given him another chance this year.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) – He’s still an enigma wrapped in a riddle at even strength and missed an empty net by a mile late, but another goal on the power play keeps him riding the hot hand.

Carl Soderberg (A) – It’s a story of redemption for Soderberg right now, as he was once again their most consistent forward, and rewarded with a lot of ice time to boot.  What happened last year is truly a mystery because he’s still a talented player.

Semyon Varlamov (A-) – The minus is because that first goal was hideous, but he was tremendous throughout.  A lot of the shots came from the outside, and you’d like to see him swallow up a few more of them, but it’s hard to argue with 57 saves.

Nail Yakupov (B-) – Yak continues to work hard, but his ice time has been very limited, with less than 10 minutes tonight.  He did pick up an assist on the second goal.  It’ll be interesting to see if he gets another shot in the top 6.

The Avalanche hit the road and take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.  The game starts at 5 PM MST.

Evan Rawal

An Avs season ticket holder since 2011, Evan has been watching and playing the game for over 20 years, coming up through the Colorado Youth Hockey system through AAA hockey and then juniors. Prior to joining BSN, he wrote for Sports303. He covers the Avs and grades the players after each game.

  • Av-a-dabba-doo

    Not to be nitpicking, but of all the report cards this year, this is the one I differ with the most, albeit mainly by half-grades. IMHO, none of the players given “F’s” deserved them, but I’ll not use this space to take up the case of each one. Plus, even if some version of a “D” is fairer, it still constitutes a poor night. Others graded too low: Landeskog, Nemeth, Rantanen, and probably even MacKinnon. Perhaps a bit too high: Yakupov

  • WorkingMan

    Gotta love that the Avs can win a game when they played relatively poorly. They did a good job of capitalizing on their chances and Varly was outstanding. I do think the team should have gotten a little more credit overall for not allowing a bunch of really high quality scoring chances, it was more of a volume problem.

  • Charlie Anderson

    It’s never a good idea to make changes when you’re winning, but after watching that many shots against what was clearly an undersized Avs squad, I have figured out what the Avs need to do. Lindholm to San Antonio – we know what we have in him and he can shred the AHL while being our first injury backup. Bigras to top line for development into a top 4 guy. Z and Miro as third line D. Barbs healthy scratch. Yak back to 2nd line with Duch and Gets, lets not give up on Yak just yet. Wilson get healthy and 4th line with Kerf and Greer. That lineup would be the perfect mix of size/speed and also giving guys a chance to develop and trying to win games. I’m a genius! Miro didn’t deserve the “F” btw.

    • cerveau

      I like that with one exception:
      Keep Barbs with Z and let Miro be the healthy scratch.

      Somehow it seems the coaches see potential in Miro, so let him keep practicing with the team and learning English until he’s ready to play.

      • Charlie Anderson

        I just don’t think Miro’s that bad. He did not look bad at the rookie showcase in San Jose, and he seems to me like he’s gotten better every game in the NHL, he needs to be playing so he can develop. The Avs should be developing these young guys some instead of just trying to win. I think he’d do fine as 3rd pairing with Z, including the language barrier wouldn’t be such a factor. We know what we have with Barbs, including he’s not over large and at times last night it looked like the Canes were playing a peewee team or something. ALL the young unproven guys NEED ice time so they can develop, whether it’s in the AHL or NHL, imo.

        • jpwheels

          I’d like to see the young D guys play too. They need ice time. The team is always playing to win. But slowing defensemen’s development will just make a solid D take longer to come around. Plus, EJ is getting so many minutes that may take a toll on him later in the year.

  • bob_w

    In the course of a season how often do you see a penalty called and then when the whistle finally blows the perpetrator is sitting on his own bench and the linesmen have to go get him and escort im the the penalty box. Last night after a scuffle Greer assumed he had been called and went directly to the penalty box only to have the linesman come over and tell him to get out because no penalty had been called.

    • Av-a-dabba-doo

      LOL I like little unusual things like that. Good eye for detail, Bob. One of my personal favorites (and it’s rare) is when a puck is lost out of play, and no one knows where it has gone! Marc Moser calls this phenomenon “the puck going into another dimension”. Ha ha.